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Sterling ticks down as focus remains on US data

By Lucy Raitano

LONDON, Nov 29 (Reuters) - Sterling eased against a stronger dollar on Wednesday, but showed little reaction to UK consumer credit data or comments from Bank of England (BoE) governor Andrew Bailey who said now was not the time to discuss cutting interest rates.

At 1153 GMT, sterling was 0.1% lower against the dollar at $1.26840. Earlier in the session, it hit a fresh three-month high of $1.27330, a level it has been hovering near for the last week.

Bailey said on Wednesday the central bank "will do what it takes" to get inflation down to its 2% target, adding that he had not yet seen enough progress towards that goal to be confident.

Meanwhile, data showed British consumers increased the pace of their borrowing by the most in five years in the 12 months to October, underscoring the impact of the higher cost of living on households.

Market attention has shifted in recent weeks to when the BoE will start cutting rates from a 15-year high, as inflation has started to cool and the economy is showing signs of slowing.

According to Francesco Pesole, FX strategist at ING, markets are not looking too closely at what Bailey or other MPC members are saying right now, and are instead mostly waiting for data.

"We've been hearing comments by Bank of England officials ... they have shifted their narrative to trying to push back against rate cut expectations which is pretty much what all central banks are doing in the developed space," Pesole said.

He said more attention will be on key U.S. releases including personal consumption data and initial jobless claims on Thursday.

"It's mostly a dollar and global sentiment story, the pound and cable is mostly mirroring what is happening in Euro/Dollar and the fact that we broke above 1.10," said Pesole.

The BoE's will make its next policy announcement on Dec 14.

(Reporting by Lucy Raitano; editing by David Evans)

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